Facebook announced Thursday (March 30) the launch of a new feature dubbed Personal Fundraisers that lets Facebook set up personal crowdfunding campaigns.
In a blog post announcing the new feature, Naomi Gleit, vice president of social good, said Facebook’s charitable giving tools has resulted in millions of dollars going to nonprofits, and now it wants to expand that to personal fundraisers, something that GoFundMe has been dominating in.
“Personal fundraisers allow people to raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook — for example, a pet,” wrote Gleit in the blog. “Personal fundraisers will launch in the U.S. for people aged 18 years or older and in beta over the next few weeks, as we hope to continue to learn and improve the product to make it even more useful.”
For the initial launch, Facebook said it is starting with six specific categories for critical financial needs and will include a review process that takes 24 hours. As the beta progresses, Facebook said the hope is to expand into other categories. The six categories in which personal fundraising campaigns can be launched include education, medical, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergency, and funeral and loss.
“Personal fundraisers allow people to reach friends where they already are to quickly build momentum for their cause. Friends can donate in a few taps with secure payments, without leaving Facebook,” Gleit noted. What’s more, since users can see real Facebook profiles donors know their money is going to the person who created the fundraiser.
In terms of the categories, Facebook said fundraising campaigns around education could include tuition, books or classroom suppliers, while medical fundraising efforts could include for medical procedures, treatments or injuries, as is the case with pet medical fundraising campaigns. Crisis relief includes public crises or natural disasters, while personal emergencies include a house fire, theft or car accident. Funeral and loss fundraising campaigns are to cover burial expenses or living costs after a loved one dies, Facebook said.